Michael J. Allen

Class of 2018 - 2019

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Class Projects


Here is the class projects archive for last year, preserved in digital amber for your pleasure and entertainment...



Should there be Zoos?

Follow the link to listen to student podcasts to see what some of the students think!!!





Taverns Project 2011


We have our winners!!

Find out about our latest exciting project by following this link...





Never ending road

It's here! What a session!

The new sound of 2011!


(Students: Please keep sending me updated information for all the songs that have no info. listed - thanks!)



Black Rainbow Remix

Featuring Kira on vocals! Enjoy!




Writing Workshop 2011

By the February vacation, all the students will have their masterpieces enshrined here in digital aspic! We're going to be adding to these 'windows into the world' throughout the rest of the year.

We're going to be really working hard on the projects the week after the vacation.




Space Project

Here are the promised rough drafts of our techno masterpieces composed for the Space project. We'll improve and update these songs, but I think you deserve to hear the rough drafts!

Also, see photos of the student's Explorer vehicles that successfully crossed Planet Kitty Litter!




Invention Challenge 1

Ramp Run 2010

Here are the competitor's results from Monday's and Friday's competition. The World record has been shattered!! Not once or twice, but six times! Seven out of eight of the best distances in this challenge over the last fifteen years have been established by this class! Wow!!

The New record got broken twice on Friday!

Unbelievable stuff!

Congratulations to the whole team!


Future World?






These links lead you to wonderful and strange exotic dreams, futuristic fables, distorted allogories, utopian reflections and crystal, shimmering towers.

Oh, to dream of faraway places and times...



Student Blogs Homepage

Here are all the student blogs on one convenient page for you. Read, enjoy, admire, then start your own and join the blogosphere, as long as your parents say it's OK, of course!

Catch the blog-fever - it's all the rage...




Teacher Plans

I want to thank you all for visiting this page, and I trust you found it valuable and informative.

What a fantastic year and what a fantastic family we have been.

What an amazing journey it has been!

As my Mum used to say, with a twinkle in her eye, I'll miss you, and I'll see you on the flypaper...



General Information and Events

A chronological list of the fabric of the year...


        Your introduction and welcome to fifth grade.



  • Parent Guide To Homework

    Homework help for those who want it.
    I think that grade five homework, like that of grade six and beyond, can be an area of stress for many students and their families. Here is a page to help you understand my homework expectations.



  • Specialist Timetables

    A list of all the classes the students take part in outside the usual classroom setting.



  •  Classroom Coordinators

    Your home base for information from the parent coordinators, by the parent coordinators, to the parents!




  • Brass instruments demonstration lesson

Tuesday, September 21st

The music department will be doing a presentation for 5th Grade students in the Cafetorium at 1:30pm on Tuesday for students who may be interested in learning how to play flute, trumpet, saxaphone, or trombone this year. Permission slips and informatiuon will be coming home with interested students soon.

Meanwhile, Ms. Chang begins her weekly string lessons this Tuesday from 11:15am to 12:00pm. Interested students should see Ms. Chang...



  • Curriculum Night - Times now changed...

Wednesday, September 29th,


8:30 - 9:00pm (at least 9:15pm, in reality!) My presentation!
Parents and Guardians get their opportunity to hear of the plans of mice and men, right from the horse's mouth, so to speak...

If you want to speak to Mr. Prior about Math, you'll need to arrive earlier than this time and speak to him informally. This change of plan was given to me today.

Sorry for the late notice. Nothing I could do, I'm afraid!


  • Photo Day

Friday, October 8th

Dress up in all your finery!




  • What: To support understanding of Simple and Complex machines and to visit National Historic Site.

  • Where: Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site.

  • Who: Mr. Allen, Mr. Prior and Ms. Snow 5th grade classes

  • When: Wednesday, October 13th

Transport is by bus leaving the school at 9:00am.

The trip takes about four hours.

Lunch will be eaten at the site, so packed lunch and snacks need to be brought for the trip. Dress for the outdoors - check the weather forecast!

Cost: $5 per person (to pay for the bus).

Please make all cheques payable to 'Brooks School'.

I would like to have four parent volunteers join us, if possible. If you can come, please contact me at the website: mike@michaeljallen.org.


  • Chaperones confirmed:





Thanks guys! Come up to room 411 with the students at 8:30am on Wednesday. See you there!



Photoalbum from Field Trip to Saugus Iron Works

All photos by Stella, Mamie and friends.

I've sent an invite to all the parents in our class to join our Snapfish Group. Let me know if there are any issues. I hope to post photos to the group throughout the year, if it all works out!



Homework Break

I've decided to give the students an early homework present - a week free of my homework. Of course, reading and math will continue as usual. I have put up on the Homework Page some writing prompts for students who want to practice writing skills and art skills. It's voluntary!!

(That's right, that's me in the middle surrounded by my brothers Peter and Antony!)


Halloween fashion Show

On Friday, October 29th students who want to can bring their Halloween Costumes to school for a Halloween fashion show.

Participation is optional

If you don't take part in Halloween (like me) then you can help judge, set up the lights and generally have a fun half-hour!



Field Trip to the Science Museum

  • What: To support understanding of Science Curriculum.

  • Who: Mr. Allen's class

  • When: Tuesday, November 23rd.

We're taking Public Transport to get there and back! Transport is by bus. We're leaving school to walk to catch the bus at 8:40am. The Bus leaves from Boston Ave at 9:02am! We return on the 1:30pm bus from Lechmere.

Lunch will be eaten at the site, so packed lunch and snacks need to be brought for the trip.

Dress for the outdoors - check the weather forecast!

Cost: $5 per person. The bus is free for students but adults need to bring their Charlie Card!

Please make any cheques payable to 'Michael Allen' - I'm going to put the payment for the visit on my card on our arrival.

I would like to have four parent volunteers join us, if possible. If you can come, please contact me at the website: mike@michaeljallen.org.


  • Chaperones confirmed:





Come up to room 411 with the students at 8:30am on Tuesday. We have to leave promptly at 8:40 to get to the bus stop on time.

See you there!




Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!!




Science Museum Field Trip Photo Album

Follow the link to our Snapfish group and see Betsy's spectacular photos from our splendid day out!



Parent Conferences

Here's information about our upcoming Conferences including the evolving conference schedule. Please contact Parent coordinators to schedule your meeting time. Thanks!

Updated: Tuesday, November 30th




The Classroom On Friday, December 3rd

We're starting work on our show. This will mean completely redesigning the entire room over the next week. As our conferences will occur at the beginning of this process, many of my noble parents will not get to see the beauty of the current classroom and it's dense cover of student labor. With this in mind, I took 104 photographs of the room today to memorialize the place before we completely trash everything!




Staying later at school to work on our Show

Tuesday, December 14th - Friday, December 17th

Students will be staying late to work on our Show next week, if they want to: Tuesday - Friday, each day until 4:00pm, (including Wednesday).

Pick up the students at the usual dismissal place at 4:00pm each day!



The Lighthouse

Prepare yourself for a thrilling ride...

Wednesday, December 22nd

10:00am - Show for Students - Mr. Marciano and Ms. Brigida

1:00pm - Show for Students - Ms. Moll

6:00pm and 7:00pm - Shows for Parents


Parents of my students are welcome to attend any of the Shows mentioned above!

Students should arrive at the Cafetorium entrance at 5:30pm on Wednesday. I will meet them there. Try not to be late!

Parents for the 6:00pm and 7:00pm show, please wait outside the main office for Mr. Allen, who will collect the crowd, bring everyone upstairs, enter the parents into the 'Classroom Theater' by reservation order, then add in older returning students.

It's likely to be very crowded - especially the 7:00pm show - and very warm in the room, so dress accordingly!

Leave your coats and bags in the car!




Have a great vacation!

See you in January!




  • Tufts Symphony Orchestra

On Monday, January 10th Tufts Orchestra performs for Grades 3-5
A Free bus will transport students on Monday!
9:00am - 10:45am
Permission slips went home today, Wednesday, January 5th.



  • Handel and Haydn presents

'What's an Oratorio?'

Where; Cafetorium, Brooks School

When: Tuesday, January 25th, 9:00 - 9:45am

Who: Fourth and Fifth grades

Why: Handel and Haydn is a period instrumental orchestra and professional chorus that engages students through humor, dialogue, vocal techniques and props.  The quartet will be performing their newest show. The performance will demonstrate what makes an oratorio come to life.  The show will last approximately 45 minutes with a question and answer period at the end.  More information on this performance can be found at www.handelandhaydn.org/education/programs/vocal-quartet.



Animal Voiceovers

Tired of the snow? Looking for a laugh? Stella and her Dad have found this amusing little diversion with which to wile away 4 minutes 34 seconds...




Watch this fascinating speech/animation from creativity guru, Ken Robinson, on the nature, purpose and future of education. If you would rather click on the picture, it takes you to the full fifty-five minute long speech, rather than the short eleven-minute long animated summary.


Nah. Just common sense...




A vignette by Leila Walker (9th Grade). Leila just won the prestigious Gold Medal in the annual Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing awards program for this essay. As an old student, I asked if she would allow me to publish her essay to inspire the current students. She magnanimously agreed. Thanks Leila.


Also, as a bonus, read her fabulous, second unpublished vignette, 'An Afternoon at the Farmers market'.

How lucky are you, my students, for such a treat!



'Growing and Changing' Puberty Class

Monday March, 7th, 11:15am - 12:00pm.

The school nurse and Ms. Penza will be conducting this class during gym.

(Ms. Gomez, will be working with Ms. Penza for this presentation and discussion.)

 Permission slips have already gone home. Don't forget: the students cannot participate in this class without Parent permission!



DARE Class Graduation

The students will be graduated from the DARE class on

Friday, March 11th.

The Ceremony for the whole of the fifth grade will happen in the Cafetorium at the Brooks from 9:15am to (roughly) 10:00am.

Selected students will read their essays, DARE officers, the Chief of Police and other dignataries make speeches, then all the students receive their graduation certificates and merchendise. Many parents usually attend this event so get there early to get a good seat!




Reading Comprehension MCAS tests


Wednesday, March 23rd and Thursday, March 24th.

There are TWO test sessions to be completed, one each day.

We will aim for 9:00am starts. On the first day we have to do all the preliminary guff which means we won't start till roughly 9:30am. The tests are untimed - they are intended to take one hour, but they usually take between two and four hours for the majority of students!

Eat well, sleep early, relax and dominate the tests!

Don't worry - we'll be more than ready!




Field Trip to Commonwealth Museum

Ms. Snow invited us to go with her on Friday, March 25th to the Massachusetts Archive Museum. The trip will tie into our Colonial Studies.

I think the link above is the correct one - but I'll confirm tomorrow.

We leave at 9:20am. We return at 1:45pm. The trip is free.

Students should bring a lunch and snack, preferably in a backpack.

If anyone can come along, even with such short notice, you'll be more than welcome, although I may have to actually call about this, since there may be issues about space on the bus - again, I'll clear things up tomorrow.



Old Sturbridge Village

Field trip to Sturbridge Village!

When: Tuesday, April 12th.

How: By 'Big Yellow Bus'.

Who: Our class and Ms. Snow's class -  Mr. Prior can't make it.

Why: Culmination of Social Studies learning.

How much: $7 (Chaperones also $7)

Departure: 8:45am (It's a bit of a long bus ride!)

Arrival: 10:00am. Self guided tour of village in groups of five.

Depart: 1:00pm. Meet for lunch at  12:30pm.

Arrive back at school: 2:15pm

Confirmed chaperones: Kris, Heather, Janet, Betsy, Caroline, Maria




5th Grade Carwash

Wednesday, April 27th

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Great fun time for fifth grade students. Get wet. Make money. Clean cars. Have fun!



WMOS Concert Event

Saturday, April 30th

Brooks School Music Room

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Come to the Third annual Music festival at the Brooks as part of the West Medford Open Studios community event!

Be there or be somewhere else!

I want to thank everyone for playing their part in making this Concert a memorable and excellent event: all the performers, young and less-young, who were uniformly fab, the audience who were supportive and kind, the WMOS and School staff, Vicki and Don for the lovely after-party and especially Eric, Graham and John.
Thanks everyone!



  • MCAS dates

Math MCAS tests:

Thursday, May 12th and Friday, May 13th.

There are two test sessions in this subject.


Science  MCAS tests:

Wednesday, May 18th and  Thursday, May 19th.

There are two test sessions in this subject.



Clash of MCAS Science test with Music Concert



Memorial Day Concert

Friday, May 27th



Junior Olympics

Monday, June 6th (Rain date: Monday, June 13th)




Moving-On Ceremony

Friday, June 10th

6:00pm, Brooks Gymnasium.



Royall House trip

Wednesday, June 15th

This trip is mandated and organized by the administration. We teachers have no say and  no choice about any aspect of this visit. 

It was not my idea to send home permission slips the night before the trip!

If this trip had happened in March it would have been perfect. Right now....?

However, who cares what I think, right?




Field Day

Monday, June 20th

The rebooked and now definite final date!




Backstage Pass

Thursday, June 23rd

6:00pm and 7:30pm

Where: Room 411

Please send me information about which show you would prefer to attend and how many will be in your party.

Follow the link for updated reservation and information about the Show!

Updated to include reservations including June 21st.



Backstage Pass Photo album by Steven Eliopolous

Photos from the show taken by Steven Eliopolous and posted to our Snapfish Group room. Follow the link and log on to see the spectacular photos!

Great show, great crowd, great night!

I love you guys!!!




Backstage Pass Photo Album by Ted Adams

Follow the link to Ted's site. The photos are password protected. The password is the name of the amazing house band that  performed the Show. Lower case. One word.

There are some amazing photos in this collection.

Thanks Ted!!




Last-Day Party!!!

When: Monday, June 27th

Where: The Fargo Home

More Information: Contact  Maria DiStefano

Say goodbye to elementary school and hello to summer with the students and their families!

Be there or be somewhere else!